Posts Tagged ‘River Road High School


“I’m not dead yet!”


I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while now, and for those (confused) few of you who actually follow this, I thought I’d update you on a few personal news bits as an explanation.

After teaching at Lockney High School for 10 years, I resigned my position there in late May of this year.  It was NOT due to a lack of job satisfaction, or community drama, or a VERY challenging group of kids I had this year (but still, yikes!).  It was a move that I felt led by God to make, impressions of which I actually began to receive about three years ago.

And the funny thing is, even in the face of uncertain economic times and personal/family changes, I have an unbelievable peace about it.  It would have been WRONG, somehow, to continue to teach there after this year.

I wish the community of Lockney nothing but the best in the coming years as they rebuild the high school building and continue the business of getting back to “normal.”  I love the town, the school, and the kids; and they will always have a special place in my heart and memories.

I have devoted the last month to actively trying to track down the job that God has picked out for me.  I’ve applied at several local (and international) laboratories devoted to food-testing, medical research, etc., as well as several schools in the Amarillo and Plainview areas.

I’ve had two interviews with McLean ISD, the last of which was two weeks ago, and both of which (I thought) went VERY well.

I had a screening interview with Amarillo ISD a week and a half ago, and am scheduled for an interview at Caprock High School this Friday.

I continue to seek out opportunities both in and out of education, and am trying to send off at least three applications per week, whether they think they want me or not.  (One for my Alma Mater — River Road ISD — goes out tomorrow.)

spanksOn the family front, we learned a couple of weeks ago that our 4th child will be a masculine child, tentatively named Samuel, and still due sometime in early October.  This news was met with much enthusiasm by eldest brother John, went in one ear of brother Reid before promptly exiting the other ear, and was the target of vigorous raspberries from 15-month old sister Sadie.

John has been into the doctor(s) three times in the last two months for his badly infected left ear, the most recent of which was today.  He is scheduled for a follow-up visit to discuss more invasive options in two weeks time.

We enjoyed a not-quite-a-week-long visit from the wife’s Mom, sister, and two nieces.  It was very hard to say goodbye.  I’m looking into sending applications to schools in Central Louisiana, and sniffing for other opportunities that direction.

Relax, Mom.  I also applied for a job in Minneapolis.  It doesn’t mean that’s where we’re GOING, geez…

Anyway, I probably won’t update here unless some drastically good news concerning a job, etc., comes down the pipe.  In the meantime, feel free to keep track of my more mundane daily info-bits at my Facebook page:

See you on the flipside,

— JC


Of Longhorns and Wildcats…


It was 6:30 PM, Friday, May 30th. At River Road High School, alumni from the last thirty years were converging on the new school building–open only a few months–to catch up on the latest news and reflect on the good times with old friends, many of which had gone unseen for a decade or more.

It was called “Old School Meets New School,” and I had been looking forward to attending for the last several months. Since my graduation in May of 1995, I had visited my alma mater just once, for a football game during my Freshman year of college. I’m not sure who won. I’m not sure I cared then.

Like most teenagers, the real joys of high school were lost on me. My own obsession with how others might perceive me kept me from ever actually seeing any of them, aside from a few bosom friends and several tired cliches.

I was very enthusiastic about the idea of a 10-year class reunion back in 2005. For some reason though, it never materialized beyond a mail out that I received asking for a preferred date for said event. I dutifully returned it, and waited in vain for the next several weeks for further news. I chalked it up at the time to lack of enthusiasm on the part of my former classmates. It’s always easier to blame an amorphous group than it is to single out an individual.

But THIS was going to be different! Thanks to the marvels of (cough, gag) MySpace, I had been in contact with no fewer than 7 or 8 old friends who assured me that they would be there. So I told them I would be, too.

LonghornsSo at 6:30 I found myself, roughly 100 miles away, driving madly to the graduation of the Lockney High School Class of 2008.

I spent the next hour and a half in a sweaty, stuffy, criminally-overcrowded gymnasium, struggling not to pass out from heat exhaustion or special music.

Around 8:30, when my old friends were meeting up at a ritzy Amarillo dance hall for a late dinner and more fun, I was standing in the road at the corner of 4th and Poplar Streets, madly dashing toward the few remaining red gowns lost in a sea of noise, sweat, love, and melancholy. A handshake here, a hug there, a laugh or two, and those ever-present, insufficient words: “Congratulations. Well done. I’m proud of you.”

So much more I want to say. So many other things I wish I had expressed during the countless moments of classroom monotony. So many missed opportunities.

At 9:00, I pull my tired Mitsubishi out of the teeming cloud of Lockney, Texas. And I wonder how many of these wonderful kids I will ever see again. How many will succeed in their grand visions. How many will face tragedy, heartbreak, suffering, or will fall prey to the small town animal which they all pledged time and time again to unleash and escape.

So, am I sorry that I missed my reunion? Yeah. Of course.

But by God, I don’t know if I could have lived with myself if I hadn’t said goodbye and godspeed to those young men and women in red on that night.

Go Horns. With all my blessings, and with all my heart.

Cats… our time will come.

The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
July 2019
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